28 Jun 2020 10:42:36
Yesterday's game was a little disjointed, but when looking at the line up that is to be expected. Several players starting their first game in over three months and plenty of squad rotation. It was our poorest performance since the return.

Yet, I felt that we were on top for the majority of the game, Norwich looked like a side devoid of confidence.

When looking at our fixtures before the restart I saw this game and thought it would be a good game to rotate a few players, give minutes to squad players who will become increasingly important as the games come thick and fast. While winning the game was always more important than putting in a great performance.

We managed both, while I actually think in the current situation playing extra time might be more beneficial than damaging. More minutes in the legs will help the players get up to speed quicker. Very few players played the whole 120 minutes (Romero, Maguire, Shaw, Bruno and Ighalo) .

We are still in with a great chance in the cup, while squad players got vital minutes in their legs. It's win/ win.


1.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 11:57:14
They’ve had a 3 month break. Any notion that the players will be tired is ridiculous. Perfect match fitness and squad rotation -
And we won!


2.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 12:27:58
I disagree Eric79. We got through to the semis. In any other season we drew and would be facing a replay in an already mega congested remainder of the season.

I understand the need for squad rotation and fitness. But we were in the ascendancy post the Sheffield game and should’ve been able to put relegation-bound Norwich to the sword easily by playing our best team first, then resting key players / allow others game time.

Unlike others I’m very pro Ole but the team selection in my view was a mistake that we got away with.


3.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 15:28:14
When you can make 5 substitutions it should give more flexibility to start a strong or stronger team and change it, more so than ever before. Making so many changes to the starting line up seemed like we may only have been taking into account 3 substitutions being allowed.


4.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 16:10:59
I wouldn't say that Red Man. I'd say that the FA cup game was our least important game, we need to win league games to finish in the top 4 while the Europa League when it restarts gives us another route into the UCL.

While we have a large squad of players: DDG, Romero, Grant, Bishop, Dalot, AWB, Laird, TFM, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire, Jones, Mengi, Shaw, Williams, Matic, Garner, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Bruno, Mata, Andreas Pereira, Lingard, James, Rashford, Gomes, Chong, Martial, Greenwood and Ighalo.

All training and available for selection. 32 players and at most 16 appearances available in any given match when taking into account the 5 subs we can now make.

Even taking out the likes of Bishop, Laird, Mengi, Garner, Gomes and Chong who either haven't played or have only played a handful of minutes that's still 26 players to accommodate.

While an argument could be made to just play your strongest 11 every game in this weird sprint to the finish end of season. That could be very risky, if you pick up a couple of injuries then the players stepping in will be way off the pace.

Last night players like Romero, Dalot, Bailly, Mata, Lingard and Ighalo all started their first game.

This being the least important fixture we had left made sense to give those players minutes and get them up to speed in case we need them between now and the end of the season. While the likes of Williams and Pereira have only had one sub appearance each in the first three games. While TFM, Tuanzebe, Jones and Grant haven't played at all. Neither have Laird, Mengi, Garner, Gomes or Chong.

We have seen many sides pick up injuries early on and I doubt the injuries will subside. So the need to get as many of the squad match fit as soon as possible will be vital.


5.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 16:50:00
Shappy

I didn’t say play our strongest team though, I said a strong or stronger team. What was it, 8 changes?

Our season is encapsulated into a quarter of a season after the players had 3 months rest. The FA Cup may not be the most important competition but it is a trophy, the last trophy we won was what 2017 under Jose? We must look to win things otherwise the 4th place trophy celebration makes us Arsenal.

They granted 5 subs so we didn’t have to do what we did yesterday. When our reputation has been smashed in the last seven years, we play on tv against the worst team in the league and bore out of everyone. Why not give one of the exciting youngsters a place on the bench?

We are through but now some had to play more than they wanted, a false economy. We have a monumental task in the league anyway, 5 and 6 points to be made up plus Wolves challenge. We should have played a stronger side and tried to get some consistency, then made subs.


6.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 17:38:17
I think ole said there was 1 change from the team that won in the last round of the FA cup.
That was maguire who would of played in thd last gMe but pulled out unwell.


7.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 18:01:29
Jred

Yes, but the last round was months ago and the players had three months rest, things changed just a little since the last round.


8.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 18:41:25
We have played a weaker team in the fa cup all season really.


9.) 28 Jun 2020
28 Jun 2020 20:44:20
Rotation is needed. As it stands to win the FA cup we will likely have to beat BOTH Chelsea and City.

Which while possible isn't a walk in the park. Heck even if we get a lucky draw Arsenal are the weakest team we could play.

We are probably 3rd favourites to win the FA cup out of the final four teams left in it.

Far better to rotate in the FA cup against Norwich than against Brighton in the league.